Bhubaneswar: The ICAR-Central Institute of Freshwater Aquaculture (ICAR-CIFA) Friday organised a ‘Farmer-Scientists Interaction’ in virtual mode on the occasion of National Fish Farmers’ Day.
Saroj Kumar Swain, Director, ICAR-CIFA, briefed the importance of Fish Farmers’ Day.
On the occasion experts said, “Fish and fish products that are highly dependent on international trade suffered quite early in the development of the pandemic from the restrictions and closure of global markets, whereas fresh fish and shellfish supply chains were severely impacted by the closure of the food service sectors (e.g. hotels, restaurants and catering facilities).”
JK Jena, deputy director general (Fisheries Science) said that fisheries institutes are extending technical help to farmers and fishers of the country during the Covid-19 lockdown. He also motivated the scientists to reorient the research strategies to come out with solutions for the farmers to mitigate the pandemic situation.
On the occasion Jena launched a WhatsApp number – 7790007797- and email helpline, email@example.com, for the farmers.
Former director, ICAR-CIFA, and former vice-chancellor, ICAR-CIFE, S D Tripathi, stressed the threat of invasive species in the Indian fisheries and aquaculture. He said that there is no evidence to suggest that the novel coronavirus affects fish or any other aquatic animal nor the pathogen is transmitted through fish. However, it is advisable to take ample precautions to avoid transmission and spread of Covid-19 among the farmers during the operations.
The coronavirus can survive 8-12 hours on any hard surface including agricultural equipment, upto 24 hours in water and more than 24 hours under ice cold conditions, he said.
He also stressed upon the need for creating public awareness on the safety of the cultured fish during this Covid times. The fish farmers should regularly sanitise farm equipment including boat, feed tray and nest used for fishing.